Several local universities have implemented new security measures whereby students and staff members must present identification cards to enter the campuses.
Some universities became battlegrounds between protesters and the police last November. The Polytechnic University (PolyU) saw a siege lasting over ten days as over 1,000 people were arrested or had their details recorded by police.
PolyU began its new semester on Monday with entry gates installed at entrances. Students and staff members must now present their identification cards to enter.
Owan Li, a student of the school’s governing council, said the arrangement was not ideal.
Li, also a newly elected district councillor, said there were queues during rush hour periods, and the arrangement was inconvenient: “This measure shows that the school only considered security, and did not consider more humane measures,” he said.
He said around 5,000 students and alumni have signed a petition against the entry gates, but he did not hear about any schedule for removing them.
“If the school bars all outside visitors for a long time, it will harm the school’s international image,” he said.
Students and staff members at City University and Baptist University were also required to present identification cards to enter.
At City University, visitors have to present a QR code obtained beforehand and they can only enter when escorted by relevant staff members. Free biscuits, popcorn and coffee were handed to students to welcome them back for the new term.
Whilst most protest graffiti at City University had been removed, those at the Baptist University remained.